Britain’s Andy Murray beat Serbia’s Novak Djokovic 6-2, 7-5 on Sunday to win the Miami Masters and clinch his third title of the year.
The world No. 4 wrapped up victory after reeling off the last five games of the second set having seen Djokovic, the world No. 3, throw away his chance to level the final.
The Serbian, the champion in 2007, had served for the second set leading 5-3, but a fifth double-fault disrupted his fightback and his game quickly fell apart. Murray, the first three-time winner on the ATP Tour this year, also made further inroads on Djokovic’s world No. 3 ranking with only 170 points now separating them.
The 21-year-old Scot dominated Djokovic for most of the match as the Serbian fell prey to a total of 43 unforced errors.
Djokovic called for the trainer early in the second set and Murray’s level subsequently dipped slightly, although the Scot said it wasn’t necessarily because of any distraction.
“If you look at the next game or so, he started rushing me,” Murray said. “He started coming forward more and he hadn’t been doing that. He went for broke a little bit and tried to shorten the points. He hit the ball well. I struggled a little bit, but it wasn’t just because of the timeout he took.”
Djokovic broke Murray twice to win four games in a row, then the Scot won a marathon game to hold for 2-4 and regained the momentum.
Overall Murray kept Djokovic off-balance with his variety of pace and direction, while thwarting his attempts to come to the net with precise passing.
Murray’s day included two second-serve aces, including one 122kph ace that flummoxed Djokovic.
“The majority of players now play so well from the baseline and both sides, that if you can use some slice and drop shots, some high balls and stuff, it just takes them out of their comfort zone,” Murray said. “It’s my way of dictating how the match is getting played. A lot of people might not necessarily think my game looks the most aggressive or offensive, but very few times will I not have the points played how I like them to be played.”
Murray, the first British finalist in Miami for 25 years, took victory when Djokovic went long with a lame volley after 1hour, 42 minutes on court. The 21-year-old Scotsman, who had raced through the first set with two breaks taking him to 4-0 lead, has now won three Masters titles. He was the champion in Cincinnati and Madrid last year.
“I think any time you win a tournament, obviously it gives you confidence,” said Murray, who also reached the final of the Masters event at Indian Wells last month.